09 August 2008


Did I show you this picture I took when the Olympic torch came through St. Petersburg? (If so, just marvel in its beauty once again. I like this picture and am not going to go check.)

I love watching the Olympics! I, like so many others, am partial to figure skating in the Winter Olympics and gymnastics in the Summer Olympics. I also love watching equestrian events. For the last two summer Olympics, I was living in England. I had no idea how biased sports reporting is. When watching gymnastics in 2000, there was a huge roar that went up from the crowd. The presenter (they present rather than commentate) said, "That's just the Americans cheering for one of their gymnasts." And then they didn't show us what had happened!

I am very happy to have US coverage of the Olympics. I know that it's biased--it has to be. But, Americans have big hearts. We love a good determination-filled story--and an underdog. I feel like the coverage on US television is more representative of the entire games, that we get to follow not only the stories of US athletes, but also stories of athletes from around the world--especially those that are very skilled or have faced enormous odds.

And I get to see why the Americans are cheering.

Volleyball is on right now. I don't even care about volleyball, but it's the Olympics, it's live, and I'm watching it. Japan is looking tough--passing well and blocking our 6'7" (seriously) player. But the crowd, the CROWD is oohhh-ing the big rallies and chanting "U-S-A!"

It sounds like the Olympics to me.

(ps How 'bout the little nine-year-old boy who accompanied Yao Ming and the Chinese flag at the opening ceremony? He was trapped in the Sichuan earthquake last May and, after getting free, went back and helped to free two classmates from the rubble. When asked why he went back (Who would ask why he went back? Of course you go back!), he replied, "Well, you see, I am a leader in the class. That was my responsibility." Way to go, Lin Hao!)


Rachael said...

I love the Olympics too. Swimming and gymnastics are my summer faves. And, what would the Olympics be without the sappy back-stories?

InventingLiz said...

I just read somewhere that the athlete carrying the US flag in the opening ceremonies is an adoptee, from Sudan! Very cool.

Annie said...

I actually moved our living room furniture around so we could all be more comfortable and cozy watching the Olympics together. Both Craig and I thought that opening ceremony was the most amazing thing we'd ever seen. I'M proud of China myself!

I do tend to think the American reporting is pretty biased, too. When I am dying to see one of the Russian competitors - there they are focusing on the American. And I doubt we'd EVER see much of a Brit, unless there was a pretty amazing "story". That little boy brought tears to my eyes - as did the relationship between him and Yao Ming. Yao Ming was just so sweet to the little guy - I noticed that on that long walk around the stadium, when they were pretty much on their own, he let the flag gently touch his head...like a way to playfully assure him that he was there. It just touched my heart. And the beautiful program! I can't imagine how they could have devised anything more lovely!

Maggie said...

I was just saying to Slugger that I wish they would cover some of the events that aren't just with Americans in them here in the US. You know there are great matches with other countries -- I would like to see those, too.

And, Lin Hao? He's the cutest little hero, ever!

Anonymous said...

I love 'em too! Just watched fencing...you can see other countries compete on cable. NBC primetime will only feature the USA superstars, but CNBC has all else, all day and night...I am loving it.

Anonymous said...

I fell asleep during the opening ceremonies--ugh! Guess I must have been really exhausted. I NEVER fall asleep that early, but it was a long, stressful week.

Did you see the gymnast on the German team, who's THIRTY-THREE years old??! She's from Uzbekistan, and was on the "United" team in 1992, after the USSR broke up. Ended up going to Germany to get treatment for her son, who had leukemia. Quite a story.

And them there's Dara Torres. I like seeing and hearing about these "old" athletes!

I just wish when they're showing something that actually happened hours ago, they wouldn't give away what you're about to see. GRR!

Jenni said...

I love the Olympics too. I was wondering how American coverage compared to other countries. It's good to know we aren't as ethnocentric as I suspected!

I would have LOVED to watch a French telecast of the Olympics when our swimming relay team "squashed" theirs! ;) (As much as I love a good success story, I also love arrogant athletes being taken down a peg)

MoscowMom said...

Oh... We pretty missed all the Olympics! The Russian coverage was CRAP-OLA!!! On at bad times, only showing a few minutes of events, only showing the Russians... They didn't even show all of Nastia Liukin's routines!!!!!!

I *really* want a slingbox, too... Gotta save up the cash to pay for the tivo, too.